NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ940221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 67
ISSN: ISSN-1468-1366
Twenty-First Century Vocational Education in the United Kingdom: What Would Dickens Think?
Unwin, Lorna
Pedagogy, Culture and Society, v12 n2 p175-200 2004
The article examines the reasons why the United Kingdom's approach to vocational education is more confused and impoverished than ever, despite its central importance to contemporary society. Instead of celebrating skill and vocational knowledge, the United Kingdom has embroiled itself in tortuous debates about parity of esteem, while paradoxically attempting to reduce its once well-respected vocational qualifications to a thin gruel of competence-based checklists. In 2003, young people could still find themselves apprenticed to employers who would not be out of place in a novel by Charles Dickens: some play a positive role in young people's lives, while others enslave them. Yet just as in a Dickens novel, we abandon young people to the economic marketplace. A recent government discussion paper on 14-19 Education and Training defined vocational education solely in terms of its value to the economy. The author argues, however, that in everyday life, vocational education supports people's need to create artefacts, to improve their surroundings, to fight against becoming de-skilled consumers, to feel part of the natural world, and to demonstrate the true extent of their capabilities. (Contains 1 table and 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom